Relationships within a family, whether you are a parent, step-parent, spouse, child, or sibling, can be complex and can develop into difficult dynamics and interactions. These family relationships become even more difficult when the family unit lives and cares for a child with special needs.
Throughout our childhood and adult life, our sister, who is severely visually impaired and has Autism Spectrum Disorder, struggled socially and emotionally. Every day, we witnessed the emotional toll it took on her, my parents, other sisters, and ourselves. Our sister struggled at school with bullies who would make fun of her or took advantage of her inability to see around her like hiding her backpack or taking her papers off her desk. As sisters, we often had to be patient while she had melt downs or had to play the role of a "protective caregiver" to stop the cruelty by others. We witnessed conflict between our parents; our mother being overly protective and engaged while our father believed many of her problems were all related to her behavior which had nothing to do with her limitations.
The emotional hardships and daily struggles that each family member faces when living with a child with special needs can be cumulative, leading to fatigue, stress, anger, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. This strain makes it even more difficult for the family to interact in a nurturing way with each other and the special needs child, which creates a vicious and unfortunate cycle.
As one of our good friends explained, much is done for the children, but little is done for the caregivers and other family members, and it leaves them on their own to process everything that goes with living with complex children.
Our hope and mission is to deliver access for "all families" to a therapy center that will focus on a relational theory framework approach which emphasizes that the emotional well-being and growth of individuals occurs when the family unit creates a supportive environment and all co-exist with mutual empathy and empowerment with one another.
- Maritza Tamayo-Sarver & Karina Tamayo
Our approach to positive change and growth in the family is to adhere to the importance of the therapeutic alliance (this is the patient-therapist relationship) and to evaluate and understand the family dynamics within the relational theory framework.
Our professional team will strive to provide you and your family a space to help strengthen your family's resilency in dealing and interacting with a child with special needs. Our team will work collaboratively and will co-design approaches and interventions to empower our families.